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At The Track-June 16, 2004



Hey, This Guy's Good

Les Bois Park racegoers had a special surprise over the weekend--Don Wheeler on the race calls knows a thing or two about racing. As opposed to the brooding radio voice of regular announcer Greg Culver, Don's voice conveyed genuine excitement as he handicapped the entrants pre-race and introduced them in the post-parades, nicknamed the jockeys (did you know that Jay Conklin is really Jettin' Jay Conklin?), and called the races auctioneer-style. This guy's been around the track, if you know what I mean. Don Wheeler returns tonight and this weekend.

Les Bois Park's Wednesday, June 16, race card offers several short fields and wild guesses. First post is at 5:45 p.m. Only six of the 21 horses entered in the second, third, and fourth races have ever raced before. Wagering on these races is true "gambling," and some good guesses can lead to wild payoffs.

In the second, Djd Lanes Last looks to settle a score with Sunset Triple Trump. They tussled in the Utah mud back on April 3. Trump came out ahead, but interfered with Lanes Last and was disqualified. Lanes Last got the last laugh that day, and we should see these two bumping each other down the stretch ahead of the other horses tonight. Grudge match. Look for A Guy Thing and Cash a Royal Secret to threaten the top two. (Quinella box 1-2-3-5.)

In the third, Muley Tune is the only horse with races under his belt, and he even won one of them. Look for him to win at low odds, followed by Sunnyside's Syn, Smoking At Dawn or one of your wild guesses.

The fourth race is wild guesses all the way, but in the fifth, Street of Gold should find the winner's circle for the first time since May 3, 2003. In the sixth, Never Been Caught got caught by Ore'n Hatch on May 26, but has since hit the road to Pocatello to reclaim her confidence. She should be ultra-tough tonight.

The seventh race is the feature race of the night, and it's a good one--The Cub Klahr Handicap at seven furlongs. A confirmed claimer--Twentyonthenose--takes on the big boys. A $2K claimer less than a year ago, Twentyonthenose has won twice and finished second by a nose in three claiming races this year, running fast times under regular rider Reino Taveras. In his last, he crushed a field of ten at a $4K tag, and looks ready for more. He's Les Bois Park's version of a Smarty Jones story.

But the competition is fierce--three others boast wins in their most recent outings. Quiet Syns is the perennial Les Bois Park powerhouse, winning and five of his eight races last year. He won three handicap races, including the Cub Klahr Handicap. Find My Halter won the Governor's Handicap on May 26. And Justifiable Cause picked up a win in his only start on May 5.

Justifiable Cause ran an enormous 84 Beyer fig in winning his race by five lengths, but stretches out to a two-turn race for the first time in his three-year career. An 84 is good enough to win tonight's race, but will it translate to the longer distance? I'm betting that it will. I'll take a couple of bucks to win on Justifiable Cause and the Justifiable Cause/Twentyonthenose/Quiet Syns quinella box (1-2-6).

Tonight's eighth race is wide open. These horses have consistency issues. Dear John, The Gray Jaklin, and Skirl each ran bang-up races in their first starts, but then bombed in their second. (The Gray Jaklin won his third race.) Four horses in this field ran against Twentyonthenose on June 6, and are probably better than their 4th- through 7th-place finishes indicate. I'll try a quinella box of all four of them--Hard Hitter, Arctic Prize, Skirl and Regal Dr. Stuart (1-6-8-9).

Racing continues at Les Bois Park this Saturday at 5:45 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.


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